The VPM Blog

How Marketing Automation Helps Improve Your Alumni Relations

Posted by Tod Meisner on Sep 13, 2016 9:00:00 AM

Football season is back! That means tailgates and re-connecting with alumni when they return to campus. Most alumni associations spend considerable amounts of time during the offseason planning tailgate events. It’s important to be able to reach these important connections in person and update them on the changes at their alma mater. But, once the food and drinks are gone and the final whistle blows, what are you doing to keep in contact with these alumni?

How Marketing Automation Helps Your Alumni RelationsMarketing automation is a great way to nurture these relationships with highly personalized, useful content that helps convert prospects to strong leads and turn those leads into delighted customers. This type of marketing automation normally generates new revenue for your alumni accociation and provides an excellent ROI.

We know that higher education professionals cringe at the words prospects, leads, and sell. But, bear with us here. Though we’re using some marketing lingo, the techniques we discuss are the same whether we’re talking about customers buying a product, or alumni donating to your campaign.

Let us tell you how marketing automation helps improve your alumni relations.

Improved Insights into Donor Behavior
Marketing automation software works to gather information from prospects on a consistent basis. Many have the ability to track actions such as page visits, email opens, downloads, form signups, donations, and much more. All of this data is stored into a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system and helps build customer profiles. These profiles help you:

  • Deeply understand your donor profiles by knowing their interests and actions
  • Measure engagement from most-engaged to least-engaged
  • Analyze effectiveness of campaigns and outreach efforts  

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Improved Fundraising, Member Retention and Nurturing
Marketing automation also allows for better communication with your entire prospect base. This communication can be personalized to each individual in various ways such as.

  • Campaigns targeted to current members that automatically send 30-60 days before renewal dates and/or important giving initiatives. These messages can be tailored to each member based on activity level, or donation level.
  • Messages triggered to individual donors based on webpage visits, page clicks or form signups to help solicit additional gifts.
  • Newsletter delivery, instant communications based on certain web actions, other membership offers and survey data capturing for potential members or very new leads to help gauge interest in certain initiatives and allow for up-to-date and immediate contacting.

Marketing automation allows for messages to be sent at the right time, in the right way, to the right person without delay. When you automate parts of your higher education marketing strategy, you gain great insight into how your alumni and possible donors think and act.

This competitive advantage allows you to predict behavior and respond to their inquiries more effectively. This technology isn’t just for increasing giving potential. You can also use it to maintain long-term relationships with alumni and donors.

Not planning on hosting in-person events, but still want to know how you can reach out to your prospectvice donors? Click below to download our FREE eBook which tells you how to use social media to find new leads.

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Topics: Alumni Relations, Inbound Marketing, higher ed inbound marketing